Alpine Headphones Review – Can you feel the music?
Alpine’s PR department recently sent me a set of their new Alpine Headphones for review. After all the hype, I really didn’t know what to expect. During their initial press release, Alpine made it clear, they want users to not only hear, but feel their music.
The new Alpine Headphones are intended to immerse the headphone wearer in a listening experience that will be akin to the ambiance of a dance party, nightclub or live concert. They attempt to accomplish this using something they call TKR3 Full Frequency Immersion Technology which Alpine defines as “Unique sound field expansion that recreates a live concert like listening experience”.
Initial Impressions – They’re wired
I was initially surprised to see the wire and at first thought maybe this was optional. True audiophiles out there can usually hear the difference between bluetooth audio streaming and a hard wired connection. So I thought maybe this was an optional cable for sound quality aficionados.
After a closer look at the instructions, it became apparent the headphone jack cable wasn’t optional, it was necessary. Yet Apple lists these headphones as Alpine Bluetooth Wireless Over Ear Headphones in their online store.
The fact that these are wired headphones made the press release video all the more comical to me. Those Millenials dancing around wearing Alpine Headphones – without wires – weren’t actually listening to anything…weird.
The overall design of the headphones are unique and definitely stand out. They are available in either black or white and have a high gloss finish. Despite the oddly shaped ear pads, I found the Alpine Headphones to be quite comfortable.
The thick inner band has a good amount of cushion to it and unlike other over ear headphones I’ve tried (Scosche, Beats, Sony) I had no irritation or fatigue even after hours of wearing them. They’re also surprisingly lightweight.
Level Play App
Although the Level Play App is not really required to enjoy these listening to the Alpine Headphones, I do appreciate it. The Level Play App scans your music and allows you to select an energy level that suits your particular listening mood. It’s an easy way to organize music for a work out without having to actually think about it and create a playlist.
The Level Play App also allows users to easily adjust the sound via the built in 5 band EQ.
Can you really feel the music?
Upon my first initial listen, I did notice the bass was quite responsive and impressive for a set of headphones – this is coming from someone who sells and installs subwoofers in peoples trunks. So I didn’t expect much from a couple 40 mm drivers, but what I did hear was impressive considering the size of speakers I was listening to.
I didn’t exactly feel it in my core and to be honest, I had to turn the volume up quite a ways to feel anything. Far louder than my normal or comfortable listening level.
What I did feel was a slight vibration through the upper band. It reminded me of what you experience in a vehicle with a stock Bose audio system. Upon their initial listening experience, most people are impressed with the bass response in a Bose audio system. However, with extended listening it becomes quite apparent the bass is rather muddy and not very deep or punchy. Even so, the overall impression of bass in these 40 mm drivers is appreciated.
I liken the audio quality in the Alpine Headphones to be similar to that of their Type R Component and Coaxial speakers. These headphones have a good amount of mid bass, the upper mid range is rich and warm and the top end is detailed yet smooth. And unlike Alpine’s head units, there I found there was no exaggeration in the top end frequency range.
Alpine Headphones Review – Are they worth the price and the hype?
Listening at a higher level of volume, I could appreciate the immersion experience. I could easily tune out the world and feel myself surrounded in the audio experience. However, I think this same kind of listening experience could be attained with any other headphones at a high volume level. I think the advantage with the Alpine Headphones is they are smooth enough to sustain longer periods of listening.
For readers out there considering the Alpine Headphones, it may help to know that these headphones have definitely been built with Alpine’s best of the best in mind. These Alpine Headphones remind me of some of Alpine’s already proven quality car audio products.
For readers that are familiar with Alpine’s PDXF4 Amplifier and Type R Component speakers – it may help to know that these headphones are built with that same level of quality. They sound like Type R Components being powered through a PDX-F4 – all in a nice compact design you can hang over your head for only $299.
All hype and apps aside – considering the quality of these headphones, I think they’re a great value.